Episode 24: From Making to Manufacturing

Nearly every maker out there, save for those who might just be starting out, has probably considered, dreamed about, or even clammed up with anxiety at the idea of outsourcing production to someone else, whether that’s hiring a production assistant or having work made by a local factory or cut-and sew shop.

In this re-broadcast YHBTV episode, I chatted with Dana and Sara, co-founders of Spooltown, a Portland-based cut-and-sew factory, about the work they do for other makers, the lessons they’ve learned over the course of the 7 years they’ve been in business, and dive into the different ways they have of working with makers from taking it all on to just helping with materials sourcing.

Dana and Sara also dive into some expert experience about pricing your products, making the transition to outsourcing your production, and have a lot of tough love to share about the culture that Etsy breeds among makers, and how that can hobble your dreams to make it big.

Dana and Sara

Episode Guests

Dana Hinger and Sara Tunstall are the owners of Spooltown.

Spooltown is a small-run sewing factory in Portland, Oregon, specializing in handbags and accessories. They excel at working with unforgiving fabrics like leather, faux leather and waxed canvas. Needle holes are forever, so you've got to get it right the first time.

They run production for many established brands, emphasizing rigorous quality standards, communication, and lasting relationships. They offer design consulting and product development as needed to make manufacturing more affordable in the long run.

Spooltown believes in visible, ethical American manufacturing. They believe that people should see the process of making because it's hard. And amazing. And worthwhile. They believe social change starts with the small decisions, and are committed to helping build infrastructure for the new economy of makers.

You can visit Spooltown at their website and on Instagram.



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From our blog,  'Making your work process scalable for wholesale.' and '3 habits to start now to prepare for growth'.

From the podcast archives, 'Season 1 Episode 11:The Price is Right?'